Inspirational Poem About Life Journey and Success One Step At A Time

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One Step At A Time – An Inspirational Poem About Life Journey

A spiral, wooden staircase
reaches up like crooked branches –
oak fingers, determined to touch the sky.

Stairs with ornate, hand-carved railings
make way for impossible feats and give
wingless creatures a chance to fly.

And I stand humble before them,
wondering where they lead
and how high they climb.

A thousand steps is too many,
but one at a time seems possible
if I keep my head level and eyes blind.

Every journey begins distant –
hard, unfathomable, unimaginable,
while peering across the sands of time.

But complacency is a curse
that stands ready with force
to defend comfort in the battle of the mind.

Life is one continuous climb.
Each day one step closer to
the potential written in your heart.

No need for giant leaps
or desperate measures destined for defeat,
but you must find somewhere to start.

Progress comes to those who push onward,
planting seeds even when tired
and a day off is a tempting reward.

For excuses quickly become reasons
to idly watch months go by
without a step forward.

It’s the small choices you make
compounded over a lifetime
that leave you in the plains or push you to the peak.

At the end of life’s journey,
the number of seeds you’ve sown
determines the character you reap.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

About the Poem

I think we all have a place where we are and a place in our mind where we want to be. The gap between those two places can be overwhelming and cause many struggles along our life journey. Personally, I have the struggle with feast or famine – I’m either all in and try to drastically alter everything in my life overnight or feel defeated by how many changes I know I need to make and do nothing.

Life is similar to a spiral staircase that leads up to who we want to be and our idea of success. You don’t reach the top by quick sprints or you’re bound to get burnt out and tired. I have the temptation to try to change my big life struggles right away, but those can only be overcome with work and time. The way to the top comes by doing the small things right everyday and making good choices in the small decisions. Small baby steps everyday accumulate into major growth in our life journey over weeks, months, and years. Small steps prevent us from becoming too overwhelmed and inspire us to keep going during life’s struggles. One day at a time, one step at a time, we will reach our life goals and everyday move closer to who we want to be and further away from who we are.

Where are you right now in life?

Where do you want to be or what is the difference between your “ideal” self and who you are now?

What small steps can you do everyday to put you closer to achieving your goals in life?

The journey in life is never easy, but keeping your progress small, manageable, and attainable snowballs into drastic change over time.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy my similar poem,“Today”, which is about inspiring change in your life and taking the first step in your life journey.

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The Clouds of Mourning – A Poem About Depression and Pain

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As we go through life, there are inevitable seasons where it seems the skies are always cloudy, always raining, and the forecast will never change. Anyone that has ever dealt with depression (or any mental illness for that matter) knows that it is like a ghost that haunts you no matter where you go or how hard you try to hide from it. Fight all you want, but you can never defeat the forces of darkness with strength alone. In these times of darkness and pain, how do we keep moving forward? How do we resist the temptation to give up and let the pain of life suck everything from our soul?

Typically, telling yourself to “cheer up”, “suck it up”, “pick yourself up”, or having someone else tell you to stop feeling sorry for yourself only makes matters worse, and I believe does a disservice to our heart. Deep depression is not an easy thing to fix, and the reality is that sometimes there are circumstances in our lives where the only appropriate response is to mourn and cry. And sometimes we need that time to just embrace the issue and recognize that it is ok to feel pain. But how do we not drown in that pain?

I believe the only way we can move forward is by grasping hope and refusing to let go. It might not get better today, it might not be tomorrow, but as long as there is hope that things will get better, the ghosts of depression are unable to penetrate our locked doors and totally possess us.

The Clouds of Mourning – A Poem About Depression and Pain

The clouds of mourning
Hang and hover over me
Like ghosts – translucent,
Yet allowing only darkness to pass through.
Their pale gray sheets flap and flutter
In the breezes of life,
Dimming and drowning out
All traces of light.
Their wails send nails
Falling from the sky,
Raining down and driving like hammers;
Pounding their melancholic clamors into my heart.

My palette is stained,
Soaked in ashen gray paint.
Non-washable, permanent and persistent;
Resistant to the colors I attempt to cover with my brush.
The clouds of mourning
Flood my skies like ghastly Dementors,
Following me through the hours
And sucking at my soul one minute at a time.

Sweet angels,
Have you lost the fight to the terrors?
Have your hallowed halos burnt out like smoking embers
And lost their luster and glow?
Where are you hiding
In this dark and stormy night?
Where are your shields and swords,
Why are you overwhelmed by the demons of darkness,
Why do you refuse to fight?

What weapons do I pick up
To fend off forces invisible and invincible?
Is there an amulet I can hang over my heart to keep out
The ghouls that pass uninhibited through locked doors?
The icy rain covers my window pane
In sheets of tears running down in streams of solitude.
Winter’s wrath bars my path
And leaves me shivering in the cold wondering what to do.
The clouds of mourning
Hang and hover over me
Like ghosts – translucent,
But hope shall be my exorcism.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


 

photo credit: Titanic via photopin (license)

The Tinman – A Poem

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The Tinman – A Poem

Your beacon blazes with the firestorm
Of a thousand pyres.
In your eyes I find the fires –
Smoke signals that rise to the heavens
And lead me on a journey
Out of the confinement of earthly shackles
That have clanged like lonely church bells
Ringing in the early morning,
Beckoning for deliverance around my feet for countless eons.
But when our hearts meet,
The cold of chaotic confusion is warmed by the heat
You infuse in me, soothing me to the core,
Stilling this ailment that never quits, never relents
Like a nagging child consistently tugging on my sleeve.
But the chilling winter breeze
That howls throughout my chest’s empty corridor
Is driven back from whence it came
Under the concealment of your shelter.
A whisper of your tongue sends new forecasts
Of warmer weather upon my heart’s radar.

Angelic avenues appear before me.
I can see Avalon in the distance –
My vision cleared from the fog
That has hung over my head like a drab curtain
For far too long.
Your song pierces the mist of madness,
And I see the kingdom once again
That I believed to have crumbled
Under the weight of tyrannical vacancy.
But now there is a peace in me –
A gentle but consistent flame that is growing,
Consuming all my darkness and blazes brighter
With each new tree of dead wood I chop down
And throw on top of it.
I do the work, but you provide the oxygen
That allows this bonfire to reach ever higher,
Burning off the shadows of these hanging leaves of treetop trees,
Opening my outlook like a door,
Revealing the heavens in this dark forest once more.

I am yet free –
Still stuck in these dark woods
My mind has resided in for years.
But these towering trees of torment
Are falling one by one,
Chopped and loaded into the hearth of your love.
My ax may be rusted, and my tin skin clanks,
Weighing me down, leaving me falling behind
Trying to make up for lost time,
But I am moving, even if it is sometimes slowly.
When I find myself weak and lowly
Will you oil me up and wait for me?
Will you see me through to the emerald gates of Oz?
Your beacon bellows –
A woodcutter’s dream to have your resistant flames
Scorch and singe back the bark’s leather skin.
I will continue my hacking until this forest
Is but a memory of protruding stumps
That serve as a reminder of what was
And what will never again be,
As long as there’s a fire in your heart,
And you are here fighting next to me.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, love poems or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/


photo credit: Woodchoppers scene via photopin (license)